• Kyodo


Niigata Gov. Ikuo Hirayama said Thursday he has decided to scrap a pluthermal power-generation project in the prefecture because of the recent coverup scandal at Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The governor said Tepco’s falsification of records regarding cracks in nuclear power reactor shrouds has damaged the utility’s credibility. Tepco operates the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast in Niigata.

The pluthermal project is a fuel program in which pellets of mixed-oxide fuel, made of uranium and plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel, is burned in light-water reactors to generate heat for producing electricity.

Tepco, the nation’s largest power utility, last month submitted to the government a list of 29 inspection reports from the late 1980s to the 1990s that may have been falsified. The reports cover 13 of the 17 reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants in Fukushima Prefecture as well as the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant.

The revelations forced five of the company’s top executives, including the president and the chairman, to announce their resignations earlier this month from the company and from the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), Japan’s most prominent business lobby.

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